By Jill Scheckel
Chief Executive Officer
Palo Verde Behavioral Health

Last month marked National Suicide Prevention and Awareness. Each September, we highlight the significance of prevention and engagement. At Palo Verde Behavioral Health, we encourage our community to continue this focus throughout the year. To help prevent suicide, we must be able to recognize risk factors and warning signs for those who may be at risk and take action to assist someone in need. Common risk factors may include relationship problems, work-related issues, school-related issues, financial and legal difficulties, and/or substance abuse. Knowing risk factors and warning signs is important, but we must move beyond knowledge into action. The first step is reaching out.

A simple conversation can save a life.
There are many ways you can help someone who may be struggling. Sometimes just asking a simple question conveys that you care: “Is everything ok?” These three simple words may open the door to a meaningful conversation about how someone is coping with current life stressors. It’s an opportunity to engage so that they don’t feel alone or isolated. Social connectedness is a protective factor which is foundational to who we are as human beings. Having just one person to reach out to can make a significant impact on an individual’s overall well-being.

Additionally, reaching out to someone may also assist in connecting them to help. Effective treatments with compassionate and knowledgeable mental health professionals are ready and waiting to help.

Help is available.
As a trusted local behavioral healthcare provider, our team at Palo Verde Behavioral Health is dedicated to changing the narrative about suicide in a manner that promotes hope, resiliency and recovery. Mental health services that utilize proven, evidence-based treatments and support are available.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an emotional crisis or thoughts of suicide, no-cost 24/7 confidential support and crisis resources are available from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or via Chat from
Crisis Text Line – text HELLO to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
Additional resources to utilize:
Trevor Lifeline, the only national 24/7 lifeline for LGBTQ youth: call 1-866-488-7386.
Veterans Crisis Line, for U.S. Military Veterans: call 1-800-273-8255, press 1.

Our shared vision must be a responsive, caring and responsible community where we actively identify and engage those who may need assistance and eliminate the stigma that is often attached to seeking help.

We all need to join together to educate ourselves, #BeThere for those around us, and take the suicide prevention and awareness fight into our everyday lives. Together, we can make a difference.

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